NAACP gets sponsors for national convention in Detroit
Detroit — General Motors Co., Quicken Loans, Ford Motor Co. and DTE Energy Co. are among the corporate sponsors announced Thursday to serve on a blue ribbon committee for the 110th National NAACP Convention, to be held next summer in Detroit.
The event, to be hosted by the Detroit branch NAACP, the organization's largest branch, will take place July 20-24 and is expected to bring in at least $11 million to southeast Michigan, according to organizers.
Branch president the Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony was flanked by about 25 dignitaries, including Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, at the NAACP headquarters on Second Avenue as he announced the sponsors.
"We invite every business that wants to be a part of our blue ribbon host committee to come forward," said Anthony. "Detroit is the place to be because so much is happening and we want to be part of the journey."
Other companies on the host committee include Chemical Bank and the Skillman Foundation. The NAACP still is in the process of securing addition partners.
This marks the fourth time the organization, founded in 1909, will bring the convention to Detroit. The first time was in 1921, and the most recent was in 2007.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said he was honored to work with Anthony "on all things."
"There is not a better time for the national convention to be held in Detroit," he said. "Any resources we have will be available to the NAACP next year."
The convention is expected to draw an estimated 10,000 members and guests to the city.
NAACP national president Attorney Derrick Johnson, a native Detroiter who attended Western International High School, was welcomed to the city and also addressed those present.
“It is an honor and privilege for me to be here,” he said. “The Detroit branch has always played a significant role in the civil rights movement, from former mayor Coleman Young to being the place Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream,’ speech first was recorded.”
Johnson added, “Members are prepared for the fight ahead of us, and preparation will take place during the convention.”
The 2020 election was on his mind.
“We must not stand by and accept the hate being generated from the White House. We are nonpartisan, but definitely political.”
Anthony, who continuously repeated the phrase, “All roads lead to Detroit,” said that anyone thinking of running for the White House in 2020 should be present at the convention.
“People are excited about coming to Detroit,” he said. “Detroit is going to be the place to be. If you’re running for president, almost everybody will be in Detroit.”
The host hotel will be the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.